'Frankenstein's monster': Dog breeder who created the labradoodle says they're his 'life's regret'

The man who invented the labradoodle says creating the breed is his "life's regret" and that he has no clue why anyone would want one. 

Wally Conron, who is now 90 years old, invented the breed in 1989, when he worked for Guide Dogs Victoria, in Australia. Now, three decades later, he's expressing just how unhappy he is with his creation.

"I opened a Pandora's box and released a Frankenstein('s) monster," Conron said on Australia's ABC Podcast last Friday. 

Conron said he created the animal — a cross between a poodle and a Labrador retriever — to help a blind woman who needed a seeing-eye dog that wouldn't bother her husband's allergies. That decision, according to Conron, opened the door for "unethical, ruthless people" to create crossbreeds without any regard for the animals' health. 

"Why people are breeding them today, I haven’t got a clue," he said.

How different dog breeds show love
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How different dog breeds show love


Common breeds: Chow Chow (pictured). Akita, Chinese Shar Pei

Many of these kinds of dogs were originally bred to guard people and property. They're often seen as independent and more reserved around strangers, although fiercely loyal to their family. They like their space, so you should let them come to you — let them give you love on their own terms. They'll usually show their love by sitting close to you (but not on you).


Common breeds: Siberian husky (pictured), Alaskan Malamute, Samoyed

These types of dogs were bred to be highly active and social dogs. They get along and work well with other dogs (think: sled dogs). They often show their love by playfully jumping, roughhousing and playing with toys. To show them love, they should get proper exercise and lots of playtime. 


Common breeds: Maltese (pictured), Bichon Frise, Lhasa Apso, Maltese, Pekingese, Pomeranian, Pug, Shih Tzu

Companion dogs were literally bred to be lap dogs, often finding companionship with royalty. They're friendly, intelligent and show their love just by being with you and "kissing." Show them love by petting them while they sit on your lap.


Common breeds: Mastiff (pictured), American Staffordshire Terrier, Boxer, Bulldog, French Bulldog, Rottweiler

These types of dogs are known to be loyal to their families. Although often large, they show love by playfully jumping and "smiling." They enjoy belly rubs and just being near you, like snuggling up with you on your couch or in your bed.


Common breeds: Australian Shepherd (pictured), Australian Cattle Dog, Border Collie, German Shepherd, Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Shetland Sheepdog

These breeds of dogs are very smart. Give them a job to do and they'll show their love through their hard work. They love to keep a group together and will herd most things as well as stick by your side waiting for the next command. Show them love by giving them plenty of play time and a job to do, like playing fetch.


Common Breeds: Golden Retriever (pictured), Cocker Spaniel, English Setter, German Shorthair Pointer, Labrador Retriever, Poodle

These dogs are known to be friendly, happy, active and loyal companions. They were originally bred to work with hunters, and they show their love by helping. This is why many of them make for great therapy or guide dogs. They'll lean into you or put their nose in your lap to show their love. To keep them happy, play retrieving games that provide exercise and cuddle them close.


Common breeds: Chihuahua (pictured), Russell Terrier, Schnauzer, Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, Yorkshire Terrier

Terriers have a lot of energy and often want to be with their humans, but they can also be stubborn and more reserved around strangers. They'll show their love by playing with you and coming into your space. To show them love, give them some exercise and keep them close.


The labradoodle is often credited with launching a wave of "designer dogs," with owners often spending thousands of dollars to combine breeds and create exactly the sort of pet they want. The trend includes mixed breeds like shih poos (shih tzus combined with poodles), puggles (pugs combined with beagles) and chugs (pugs combined with Chihuahuas). 

"I realized what I had done within a matter of days," Conron told the ABC. "I realized the reason for these unethical, ruthless people to breed these dogs and sell them for big bucks."

Conron's original litter was small — just three dogs in total — but the breed quickly caught on as more than just guide dogs. There are now an estimated 70,000 labradoodles in the world, according to the Australian Labradoodle Association of America

The 90-year-old breeder isn't alone in his criticism either. Colin Tennant, a British dog behavior expert, told CNN he believes people need to pay more attention to a dog's health when combining breeds. 

"In essence, you are blindly breeding and altering genetics of the line without foreknowledge."

He's not the only groomer who feels that way. Summer Michelle Waslch, a groomer from Ohio, commented on a link to the story on Facebook with her thoughts.

"As a groomer I can agree!!" she said. "They made smart dogs into crazy mutts! That's the truth of it. They are very overpriced mutts. And I've been bitten by 'oodle' dogs the most!"

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